My friends at VivoBarefoot sent me these great illustrations of foot stretches to share. I love practicing these and recommend them for everyone. Try each for about 5 breaths and be kind to yourself if any of them is particularly strong. Shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes and can make a big difference.
I recommend rooting the big toe in my yoga classes all the time! It takes a great deal of practice to learn to use the toes more independently and less as one clump. Â This type of work will do wonders for the arches and feeling of energy up the legs and into the body. After learning to root the big toe and lift the other toes, see if you can do the party trick of also planting down the pinky toe while keeping the three middle toes lifted. As a wonder of anatomy, you may find that you stick out your pinky fingers too!
These two are new ones to me, but can aid in developing further mobility in the region. Simply alternate bringing big toe under, other toes back, and then other toes back and big toe forward. Do it on a soft surface to avoid too much pain.
This man looks happy, but this can be a particularly brutal stretch. Be sure to tuck the toes under and take a break if you need it. Often helps to rock weight a bit back and forth and to distract yourself with some shoulder stretches while this goes on.
Less common, but still problematic is developing opening in the front of the foot and ankle
All these stretches are very simple but very effective! Try it before your yoga practice and see what happens.